Development of a semi-empirical ship operational performance model for voyage optimization

  • Ruihua Lu

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Voyage optimization is the endeavour to select the optimum route and optimum speed along the voyage in order to maximise the ship performance in energy efficiency and the reduction of the Green House Gas emission footprint within fixed voyage duration. For achieving these goals, it is essential to develop an easy-to-use and accurate enough ship operational performance prediction model, which is the main aim of this study. A detailed critical review of the literature regarding the prediction of ship’s added resistance in waves and its operational performance modelling has been carried out. The existing research gap has been identified and addressed herein. The empirical added resistance prediction formulae have been improved based on the actual ship operational performance data and developed as a semi-empirical added resistance prediction method, which estimates the speed loss due to added resistance. Together with the calm water resistance model, propulsion efficiency model, main engine Specific Fuel Oil Consumption (SFOC) diagram, correction factor indicating fouling effect on fuel consumption, and actual ship operational performance data, the novel semi-empirical ship operational performance prediction model for oil tanker and container ship have been developed and validated. The easy-to-use and practical semi-empirical model is able to accurately predict main engine fuel consumption rate at varying speeds and wave angle encountered. This has been tested successfully on an oil tanker and a container ship. A GRIDS system has been developed to indicate the combination of potential routes and the corresponding weather forecast along each route between departure port and destination. By integrating the GRIDS system with the proposed semi-empirical ship operational performance prediction model, a weather routing model and a speed optimization model have been developed for voyage optimization. In this study, weather routing is achieved by optimum route selection. Its objectives include minimum passage time and minimum fuel consumption under fixed main engine output. Speed optimization is achieved by evaluating the predicted main engine fuel consumption with different speed combinations along the voyage, while a fixed Estimated Time of Arrival(ETA) is set as the constraint. Finally, the main findings are discussed and conclusions are drawn with some recommendations for future research.
Date of Award14 Sept 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde

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